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11/27/2013 5:54:00 AM Email this articlePrint this article 

Photo submitted by Steve Haney
This is the U-13 team of players from Cashmere and Leavenworth who won the Mukilteo Turkey Shoot tourney last week. The team has been coached by Laura Zamudio for the past three years, but Zamudio stepped aside temporarily to let two high-schoolers complete their community service requirements for graduation.
Eighth-graders bring home title

Sebastian Moraga
Staff writer

A team of Cashmere preteen boys had a remarkable season, shining on soccer fields across the state, even winning a renowned soccer trophy in Mukilteo.

The team, which is also coached by Cashmere's Micah Haney and Trey Evans, participated in the Wenatchee Youth Soccer Rec League and finished with a record of eight wins, one loss and one tie. The team followed that with a second place finish in the Apple Cup tournament, which includes select teams from across Washington.

Steve Haney, Micah's father and a CHS coach himself, said that after the Apple Cup tournament, the team decided to travel to Mukilteo.

"This is a large tournament and a completely new experience for these young boys," Steve wrote in an email. "Another experience was playing on turf fields."

The team adapted quickly, Steve wrote, winning its first match 10-0.

The second match proved a different sort of challenge. The Cashmere team, sponsored by Jerry's Auto, had before it a team that had won the tournament the last three years and had not lost a game in that span.

Twenty minutes into the contest, the Cashmere boys trailed 2-0, Steve wrote, adding that team parent and former coach Laura Zamudio refused to believe the game might be over.

"You just watch," Haney recalled Zamudio saying. "They are going to get mad and come back and win the match.'" Cashmere outscored its opponent 7-1 the rest of the way.

The boys from Cashmere continued to win, Haney wrote and advanced to the finals against a team from the host city, the Navy SEALs of Mukilteo. Cashmere won that match 3-0.

"The SEALs played a strong defense and kept a very skilled and quick player on top," Steve wrote. "We locked that player out of the game and ended up winning the final match."

The Cashmere team that won the tournament was in fact a mixture of two teams, one from Cashmere and a team from Leavenworth that was the only team to beat Cashmere during the regular season.

"The boys are excited to go back next year and defend their title," Steve wrote. "Thanks to the Cashmere and Leavenworth communities for offering these opportunities to play a sport that these kids love."

Eleven of the 16 boys hail from Cashmere and five from Leavenworth, Zamudio said.

"They were calling themselves 'Family United,' because they were two rival teams that came together to win a championship," Zamudio said. "It was really cool for me because I coached the boys for three years. This year, I stepped back to let the two high school boys who needed community service credits to take over."

The players are a good group of boys who did not struggle at all to play together, Zamudio added

"You would have thought they had been playing together for years," she said. "The five Leavenworth boys were very excited."

She added that none of the 16 players had ever been invited to go so far out of town for a tourney before.

Zamudio said that defending the title next year is up in the air. There is no team for 13-year-olds -or older- in Cashmere until they reach high school, so this could be the end of the line for the boys for a while, she added.

"It's sad for our little town," Zamudio said, while adding it's unknown what will happen.

"It depends if they all signed up again and play again," she said. "We will have to see what happens. I know that some of the boys play in a Hispanic team."

Regardless of what happens, the boys will always have, if not Paris, at least Mukilteo. They also made good on a stack of promises they made on their way to the title. When the boys heard of the Cashmere High School girls' early exit from state play, they pledged to bring home the hardware for them. When they heard about a Cashmere boy in a Seattle hospital with a broken leg, they pledged to win the title for him, too. And they did.

"It was really cool," Zamudio said.

Sebastian Moraga can be reached at 782-3781 or reporter@cashmerevalleyrecord.com

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